Thought for the Week: Parallel Lives
"I have a theory that every time you make an important choice, the part of you left behind continues the other life you could have had. Some people's emanations are very strong, some people create themselves afresh outside their own body. This is not fancy. If a potter has an idea, she makes it into a pot, and it exists beyond her, in its own separate life. She uses a physical substance to display her thoughts. If I use a metaphysical substance to display my thoughts, I might be anywhere at one time, influencing a number of different things, just as the potter and her pottery can exert influence in different places. There's a chance that I'm not here at all, that all the parts of me, running along all the choices I did and didn't make, for a moment brush against each other. . . .Perhaps for a while these. . .selves become confused. I have not gone forward or back in time, but across in time, to something I might have been, playing itself out."
—Jeannette Winterson, from Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit